February 03, 2018 (Valkenburg, Netherlands) – Muddy conditions and crashes defined Day 1 of the 2018 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Valkenburg, Netherlands as Ontario’s Tyler Clark led the Canadian charge placing 19th in the Junior men’s 4-lap race today.
Team CAN © Ralph Samson
The Junior Men kicked things off as Clark, the reigning national junior champ, held his own but fell back during the latter part of the 4-lap race claiming a top-20 result at 2:24 behind winner Ben Tulett of Great Britain. Tomas Kopecky (Cze) won the silver and Ryan Kamp (Ned) took home the bronze.
Tyler Clark © Ralph Samson
Also racing for Canada were Connor Martin of Kelowna, BC, in 29th, Dylan Kerr of Horseshoe Valley, Ontario, in 43rd and Barrie, Ontario’s Paul Mysko in 62nd.
Conor Martin © Ralph Samson
Paul Myskos © Ralph Samson
Dylan Kerr © Ralph Samson
In the U23 Women’s 3-lap title race, Canadian U23 champ, Ruby West of Dundas, Ont., was just outside the top 20 finishing 21st with Sherbrooke, Quebec’s Magdeleine Vallieres Mill just behind in 22nd followed by Siobhan Kelly of London, Ontario, in 40th.
Ruby West © Ralph Samson
Siobhan Kelly © Ralph Samson
Magdeleine Valliere Mills © Ralph Samson
Evie Richards of Great Britain won the 3-lap race and had to be carried off in a stretcher following her victory as she was so exhausted.
Evie Richards © Cor Vos
The final race saw St-Jerome, Quebec’s Maghalie Rochette end up 22nd after a strong start to finish 4:27 behind Belgium’s Sanne Cant who defended her title fending off a strong challenge by Katie Compton (USA) in second.
Maghalie Rochette © Cor Vos
Christel Ferrier Bruneau © Ralph Samson
Mical Dyck © Ralph Samson
Lucinda Brand (Ned) rounded off the podium in third. Reigning Elite women’s champ, Christel Ferrier Bruneau of Granby, Quebec, was 29th followed by Mical Dyck of Cumberland, BC, in 31st.
Sanne Cant © Cor Vos
Elite women’s podium © Cor Vos
Rochette had a strong start but conditions and the course were brutal as winner Cant said it was the toughest in her career. “What a race it was,” said Rochette. “I had a great start and things were looking good. I knew I was ready, fit and excited. I did a mistake early on and lost a few spots and after that, I think I was maybe trying too much.
“I was riding poorly and making many many mistakes. On days like today, you are almost racing the course more than other people, and you really need to be smooth and limit the mistakes and I didn’t do that very well today,” she explained.
Rochette training © Ralph Samson
Crashes and slip ups were seen throughout the day on the muddy course, but Rochette sees a silver lining. “I am a little bit disappointed with my ride and my result, but at the same time, I’m proud of the preparation I did and the effort I put out there today. I know there will be many more World Championships in my future and I already look forward to the next one. It is always a privilege to race those big events and I always make sure I prepare the best way I can. I know I did that. The only thing to do now is to learn from my mistakes and celebrate a great year with the people that support me through the thick and thin; my family and my team,” she concluded.